Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds. Norman Vincent Peale
Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream. Debby Boone
I spent some time this weekend researching and considering our garden for this year.
So far the only seed catalog I've received has been from Territorial which is nice but I'm concerned with my options as they are an Oregon based company. Since I'm not west-coast I wasn't sure that the varieties they offered would be my best choice for the hot, hot, HOT North Carolina Piedmont.
I was really hoping that my catalog from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange would be in by now. Since they are based in Virginia, I figure I can get more of a regional selection. I also like that they highlight varieties that grow well in the mid-Atlantic region. (I need all the help I can get.)
I really want to carefully consider my seed/plant choices for this year. Last year I bought what was in front of me and I had enough failure and poor production to know that I don't want to make that mistake again. (I'm trying for mostly heirloom varieties this year.)
So after seeing other posts about SESE and reading positive reviews at Dave's Garden and I sucked it up and followed my gut and placed my order.
I based my decisions on SESE's product description (of course), but I was heavily influenced by 2 other sites.
Leigh at 5 Acres and A Dream had an excellent post on what did and didn't work in her garden last year. Since she's in my region, and a more experienced gardener than I am, I made sure that I carefully noted her winners (and losers) from last year. Thanks Leigh!
I also pulled up the NC State University vegetable gardening page to get their opinions on varieties to grow. The link above has a lot of general information but halfway through it offers a very nice table of recommended varieties and dates to plant for both spring and fall gardens.
I made careful notes about the timing issues as far as planting goes. My fall garden was a flop last year because I waited too long to plant because of the heat. I suppose it could still have been a flop since I can't imagine a seedling surviving in 100 degree heat but maybe I'm not giving the little buggers enough credit.
SM wanted to just buy existing tomato plants this year instead of growing them from seed.
Nope. Too expensive. I'd rather grow MY choices rather than what the big box stores or local nursery choices might offer. If I recall, buying existing plants last year was a $4-$5 option. I can only imagine with increasing interest in gardening that prices will be even higher this year.
I actually had great success germinating my own peppers and tomatoes last year. My failure was in that we had torrential rain storms last June that turned my garden into a big swimming pool.
That's why we'll be putting in raised beds this year.
But that's another post.
I'll do an update post once I get my seeds in...not only to share with you all my choices but also as a means of documenting what works, what doesn't and why. (Just in case there are other southern gardeners out there reading this.)